Both Iranian state Press TV and private Tasnim News Agency reported the alleged death of the former Yemeni leader. The deposed leader was reportedly killed while on his way to the city of Maarib in Yemen, according to the agency.
The alleged killing of Saleh was also reported by a radio station in Yemen, which belongs to the country’s Interior Ministry, which is controlled by Houthis. The Iranian Tasnim agency shared an unverified image, allegedly depicting a dead Saleh with a wound to the head.
The reports emerged following earlier news suggesting Houthis had blown up Saleh’s home in the capital, Sanaa. Since then, the ex-leader’s whereabouts have been unknown.
Heavy fighting has been ongoing in Yemen’s capital in recent days, with the Saudi-led coalition launching strikes on Houthi positions. On Monday, the Houthis made gains against forces supporting the former president. According to witness reports in local media, there was intense fighting overnight, with explosions rocking the city into Monday morning.
The intensified fighting, with the US-backed Saudis launching new attacks on Houthi forces, has “completely paralyzed humanitarian operations” in the Yemeni capital, AP reported Monday citing an adviser for the Norwegian Refugee Council, Suze van Meegen. “No one is safe in Sanaa at the moment,” she said.
On Sunday, the former leader of the war-torn country formally renounced his alliance with the Houthis. Together these groups have been fighting against the Saudi-backed forces of ousted President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi since 2015. Saleh now pledged to step up his fight with the Iranian-backed group, having re-aligned his forces with Saudi Arabia.